The old model of an effective leader was someone who forced high productivity out of their employees at the cost of employee motivation and retention. It doesn’t sound like a sustainable leadership model, does it? The new model of effective leadership is based on employee engagement; building positive relationships between leaders and their teams that are based on trust as employee engagement is key to a highly productive workplace.
David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work has identified what makes for an effective leader based on neuro-scientific research. He has coined the term neuro-leadership for applying neuro-scientific techniques to leadership development, management training, change management education, consulting and coaching.
Rock devised the SCARF model to explain the neuroscience behind what workers need to help them engage and stay engaged and productive in their role. Of course, these needs also apply to Leaders.
The top 5 social rewards or threats that are deeply important to individuals in the workplace and in life in general as identified by David Rock’s SCARF model are:
- Status – person's relative importance to others
- Certainty – being able to predict the future
- Autonomy – sense of control over events
- Relatedness – sense of connection and safety with others
- Fairness – perception of being treated justly
While leaders can’t control someone’s perception of these rewards or threats they can be conscious of these motivators and attempt to positively address them through their leadership style and HR practices organisationally. The SCARF model is strikingly similar to some of the methods used to build and increase employee engagement.
Here are five top tips to be a Neuro Leader:
- Build good workplace relationships based on trust and open communication
- Clearly communicate organisational goals, individual employee goals and transparency
- Empower employees with a purpose in helping an organisation achieve its goals
- Model and encourage employees to live the clearly defined values of an organisation
- Recognise the value of your employees to your employees
Contact Harrison Human Resources for advice on how you can boost your neuro-leadership skills and ensure your HR practices and leadership style grow greater employee engagement and productivity.